Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Q & A With Emma

Dear Emma,
I love reading your blog. I am also a newly ex-mormon 26 yr old female! What do you think has helped you the most as you were leaving Mormonism?

Perspective.  Mormonism is such a complex religion/lifestyle/club.  The church wants so badly to be black a white but there are about …I don’t know…50 shades of gray. 

Everyone who leaves the church experiences it differently.    For some it’s as easy as walking into a Mc Donald’s, Taking one look at the menu and leaving.  For others it is like being seated at  a Mexican restaurant ordering some fantastic looking enchiladas.   Waiting over an hour only to discover that they have messed up and now you’re stuck eating slimy cold gazpacho soup.  You can make a huge fuss and leave without paying only to be chased down by the owner, you can send it back and hope they get it right even if it takes another hour, or you can just eat the soup. 

My sloppy point is in order to leave peacefully you need to remember it’s not the end of the world. It feels that way and it is the end of many things.  It is also the beginning of your new wonderful life.  Sure I’m annoyed I’m a weirdo when it comes to sex.  But there was worse things than being a 27 year old virgin. Perspective.  It’s not all bad.

Since college, I have mainly made friends through church, and now that the social outlet is gone, I am trying to find other things to do. What do you recommend?

Ah yes the F.H.Evasion. Your entire social life was handed to you on a silver platter. You never had to work or even think about what you would be doing because every Sunday they told you.  Monday: FHE, Tuesday: help sister Wazername move. Wednesday: dinner with miss…You get the point.  Now your calendar is wide open and that can be scary.  It took me about 3 months to realize that no stranger was going to call me with a list of social activities. You have to do it yourself.

That silver platter was nice but it was always full of activity’s that were bland and tasteless.   Once you learn
to cook up your own fun you will find it much more rewarding.   Instead of one size fits all activity’s like Disney karaoke in the church gym you can find more of a custom fit.  For example I LOVE doing stand-up!  Before I left the church I would do it but I always had to avoid the church.  Now I do stand-up almost every night and I’m getting quite good at it!  I don’t have to be clean or PC.  I like to make jokes about how I’m a virgin and how Mit Romney is watching me.  I don’t attack the church but I’m free to tease.

I want to make more non-mormon friends!  I really do not enjoy drinking.  How do people like us meet more people like us?

Find the things you love to do and do them.  As we say “Google will set you free”, it will also show you the world. Look online for events and go! Don’t rule out going to bars. Most bars have more than just alcohol to entice people.  Live music, dancing, trivia, wet T-shirt contests (if that is your thing). I really enjoy Meetup.com events.   Just yesterday I played Ultimate Frisbee with a bunch of new people my age.  Most of them drank but not to get hammered.  They were active people.  I imagine if I was not Mormon I would have friends who would tell me about all this cool stuff.  As you have newly left you may need this tool to get started.  

You will be tempted to talk about the church.  That’s okay.  I have found that almost everyone has had a faith crisis in their life.  It’s an interesting topic but remember that you are more than your old religion.  Stay light on the topic of religion and don’t let it dominate the conversation. 

You are in charge of your own social life now…revel in it!

I wanna date non-mormons.  How do I do that?

I have about 27 blog post on this topic and still don’t know.   In Mormon culture there is sooo much stress in finding your eternal companion.  Marriage to Mormons is more than finding a partner.  In order to move up in the church you must be married.  You can’t be a bishop or institute teacher without your marriage certification.  Singles wards require “adult” supervision from married people.  In many ways you are made to feel incomplete without a spouse.

The world is a lot more relaxed.  People who are married and people who are single live together in harmony(see: Bon Voyage) It is  important when you start dating outside the church to take it slow.  Look around you…every guy is an option! See that guy with the tattoo, the one drinking a beer, the guy who has had sex, they could be really great guys(gasp!) Give them a chance. It’s hard to erase the old “I Judge Thee” habit.  Start by just making friends and getting comfortable with different types of people. 

When you do meet someone you like feel free to communicate that (see: Pink Pedistal)   If you want a committed relationship find a guy who wants that too.  Take it slow so that you can be sure.  Some men will say anything for sex.  Any guy that is pushing you to do stuff you’re not comfortable with…tell them to F OFF! Most important take your time.  People find love at every age out here...not just at 22. 

Hey Emma,
Have you ever thought of getting your records removed from the church?

At this point in my journey…No. But I see why many people do.  They want closure, they don’t want to be one of the churches “15 Million” members.  I have found that for me to move on from the church I need to find myself away from it all.  I’m looking for that squishy gray area where I can be myself and still keep the parts of Mormonism I like.  My family, my friends, and my network.  Maybe with time I will. It won’t be for many years, when I can look at a Mormon temple and think to myself “Hey do you remember when you actually went inside one of those?”  

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